Cheerleaders use pom-poms at sports events for six main reasons:

  • to attract the attention of the spectators
  • to accentuate movements
  • to add "sparkle" to a cheer, chant, or dance routine
  • to distract the opposing team
  • to spell out the team's name or "go"
  • to use semaphore

pom-pom – also spelled pom-ponpompom or pompon – is a decorative ball or tuft of fibrous material.

The term may refer to large tufts used by cheerleaders, or a small, tighter ball attached to the top of a hat, also known as a bobble or toorie.

Pom-poms may come in many colors, sizes, and varieties and are made from a wide array of materials, including woolcottonpaperplasticthreadglitter, and occasionally feathers. Pom-poms are shaken by cheerleaders, pom or dance teams, and sports fans during spectator sports.